Painting Cosmos with the Society of Floral Painters

We had a great day’s painting in Bursledon with the Society of Floral Painters and although the paintings were unfinished at the end of our long day’s creative work, they really did make a good show as you can see in the above photo.

I have to say thank you to lovely Ann, the workshop coordinator, who had signed up twelve artists who I could tell were passionately interested in this type of looser flower painting. I think they are normally much more measured and detailed in their work but they are really keen to be “loose women”!
So there were pleas of more water!, more pigment!, go for it!, being heard throughout the day and there was one special moment with Ann where I really think she got the hang of letting that paintbrush have its way on her painting!
I understood more than ever before how watercolour can be used in many different ways, from the one extreme of providing a close academic study of a plant or flower primarily for identification purposes, to the other extreme of allowing the water and pigments to create a set of marks and textures playing together in an abstract design.
Our paintings yesterday were somewhere in between the two. We wanted to create identifiable flower portraits but wanted them to be set in a context where our colours had been allowed to move and mingle in a dreamy background of gorgeous colour combinations and suggestive marks. The viewer could then use their imagination and memory to create the summery flower border that we were evoking.
I hope everyone enjoyed the day as much as I did and that that they felt that the hard work and intense concentration was worth it! (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

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